Rob Gronkowski Rumors: 'Optimism' Star TE Will Decide to Return to Buccaneers

Adam WellsMay 31, 2022

Pro-football player Rob Gronkowski attends the 2022 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards held at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California, April 9, 2022. (Photo by Michael Tran / AFP) (Photo by MICHAEL TRAN/AFP via Getty Images)
MICHAEL TRAN/AFP via Getty Images

As the clock continues to count down to the start of NFL training camps, Rob Gronkowski still hasn't announced if he will play next season. 

Appearing on Get Up, ESPN's Dan Graziano said there is "optimism" that Gronkowski will be back with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2022. 

Gronkowski has been coy about his plans since the end of last season. 

At an event in Las Vegas during the 2022 draft, Gronkowski had a tongue-in-cheek answer when asked if he would play next season or retire during a game of "Would You Rather."

"Oh man, I'm gonna do both," he responded (h/t Shanna McCarriston of CBS Sports). 

After Tom Brady ended his brief retirement in March, Gronkowski did say at a Tampa barber shop there was a "very good chance" he will be back with the Bucs. He has confirmed that if he does play another season, it will only be with Tampa Bay. 

The Bucs do have Cameron Brate penciled in as their starting tight end. They also added Cade Otton and Ko Kieft on Day 3 of the draft to provide positional depth. 

Gronkowski has spent the past two seasons with the Buccaneers. He didn't play during the 2019 season after retiring as a member of the New England Patriots following their victory over the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII. 

While not quite the dominant force he was during his peak with the Patriots, Gronkowski has been one of the NFL's better tight ends since 2020. The five-time Pro Bowler has 1,425 receiving yards, 13 touchdowns and 100 receptions in 28 games. 

In Tampa Bay's 31-9 win over the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV, Gronkowski was the team's leading receiver with 67 yards and two touchdowns.